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If you’re dealing with a possible spider infestation, it’s important to understand the invading pest, whether it is small or large, and whether it’s a poisonous or non-poisonous spider.

Common Types of Spiders in Florida

Brown Recluse Spider

A species of venomous spider that, along with other species of venomous spiders, prefer to live in very warm climates like the tropical/subtropical climate that is found throughout South Florida.

Widow Spider

There are four species of widow spiders that you might find in Florida; three of them native and one of them introduced.

  1. Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactan)
  2. Northern Black Widow (Latrodectus various)
  3. Red Widow (Latrodectus bishopi)
  4. Brown Widow (Latrodectus geometricus)

Typically, a female widow spider has a glossy, jet black body and a bright red mark on the underside of her abdomen that is shaped like an hourglass. The males are usually gray or brown. The females are much bigger than the males, with the females measuring around 1.5 inches and the males being only a quarter of the size.

The female widow is the most poisonous of the two genders, as its venom sacs are much bigger. The bite of the male is not generally considered to be dangerous.

Widow spiders are nocturnal and build irregular, tangled, three dimensional webs, where they rest during the daytime. Widows will often hang upside down near the center of the web, until they detect an insect getting caught (usually by sensing vibration, rather than by sight), when they will run over and bite the insect, then cover it in silk.

Wolf Spider

These large, hairy spiders are very common in Florida and cause a great deal of worry for those with arachnophobia. Wolf spiders don’t build webs. Being extremely fast runners, they utilize their quickness to do their hunting. Their main food source is cockroaches.

Funnel Weave Spider

These spiders rarely enter homes, but they can be scary when you come across them in your yard or in your garden, especially if you mistake them for the brown recluse. Fortunately, these spiders have hair to help you tell them apart from brown recluse spiders. And though a bite from this spider may hurt, it is likely to only leave a painful bite and a red welt. If you see a tangled web that looks like a funnel, especially over the entrance to the burrow of a wild animal, you might want to steer clear. You’re likely to find a funnel weaver spider inside.

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman spiders are actually an invasive species from Asia. They are sometimes called the Giant Crab spider, and are generally found in the southern end of the state, where the climate is to their liking. Like the wolf spider, this spider does not build webs. Instead it relies on sheer speed and the strength of its jaws to hunt and kill its prey. While their bite is venomous, it is too weak to be considered medically significant, causing only localized pain.

Daddy Long Leg

The term “daddy long legs” is used to refer to two different species of arachnid with small bodies and very long legs. The two species are Harvestmen (Opiliones) and cellar spiders (Pholcidae)

  1. Harvestmen are actually not spiders at all, although they are arachnids. They are more closely related to mites and scorpions than they are to spiders. They have tiny bodies, but huge leg spans.
  2. Cellar spiders also have tiny bodies and large leg spans, which is why they get confused with Harvestmen. Unlike Harvestmen, however, this species is actually a spider. Their legs can be up to two inches long.

Prevention Tips to Avoid Spiders Infesting Your Home

As a homeowner or business owner there are a few preventative measures that you can take on your own to prevent spiders from infesting your home.

  • Keep closets, garages, and attics clutter free

  • Seal any cracks or openings around doors or windows

  • Knock down any spider webs that you find on both the inside and outside of your home

Already experiencing a spider problem? Contact Animal Rangers (800) 248-7624 for a FREE evaluation.